Chris Brogan is one of my go to guys for all things social media. He recommended I read a blog called Levite Chronicles written by Jon Swanson. Today Jon wrote about this sidewalk. Hes part of a writing group led by Robert Hruzek. Today the assignment was to write about What I Learned From a Sidewalk.
Did you see that? All those people? That's a network. A loose one. We are surrounded by loose networks. Its really up to us to decide if we want to strengthen the network or leave it loose.
I shop at an independent bookstore called the Kaliedoscope. It's in my home town. My friend Denise told me about the store. I may not have found it because it's on a side street. The first time I went there, the owner was there. Keri was nice and very knowledgeable about books. I spent quite a bit of time there and eventually became friends with Keri.
Keri told me about Judy who owns another store, Cornerstone Cottage. I never would have shopped there on my own. It's a gift store, fun store, cool store! Now I shop there because Keri told me about Judy. Now Judy and I are friends.
Judy told me about her friend Karolyn. She thought Karolyn might like to know more about what I do. I called her. She's a client of mine now.
The network is Denise-Keri-Judy-Karolyn. It's a network I've worked on strengthening. If I didn't hang out at the bookstore, no friendship would have developed between Keri and myself -- so no Keri-Judy-Karolyn.
So I see networking like walking sidewalks. You can just walk on the sidewalk you know and keep seeing the things you are used to seeing. Or you can stop and visit a friend. Turn at the corner and see what's down that street. Make a left and go to the park.
My point? Denise, Keri, Judy, Karolyn are all clients of mine. Now. We are a network. The detours I took introduced me to remarkable women who recognized the value I bring to the table - and they joined my network.
Are you building networks?
Image provided by Editor B over at flickr.com